Walk on it
a elwid Mathew yn eistedd wrth y dollfa,
a dywedodd wrtho, “Canlyn fi.”
Cododd yntau a chanlynodd ef.
he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth;
and he said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
Why are our legs (or in the case of wheel-chair users, our hands and wheels) so helpful to our brains? We seem to access different levels of understanding just by forward motion. It is as if breaking the stasis, the inertia of our bodies by leaving the house also breaks through confusion or indecision and gives unexpected clarity of thought.
Of course those of us fortunate enough to live in North Wales need little encouragement to venture out. Even in bad weather there is a grandeur and dynamism to our landscape which is hard to beat. Yet I experienced the same positive results walking in the urban streets which have been home for most of my adult life, even though in some of them the only beautiful thing was the people.
Step by step, alone or with others, the simple rhythm as ancient as being human seems to calm and centre us. It’s as if we start to keep time with a tune unheard at home, to move through the world instead of feel its weight over us.
I recall walking in tears at times of grief, shouting aloud at injustice in petition to God (when nobody was about) and many moments of transcendent serenity. I find it easy to pray when walking and easy to listen to a companion as we talk about God together. It is the perfect medium for friendship and family adventures. And it’s free!
Perhaps that’s why Jesus exercised a peripatetic ministry and why He sent His disciples out in pairs, walking simply together with little in the way of resources other than each other and His authority.
Lockdown pavements and footpaths have been crowded. A daily walk suddenly taken for granted as a priority – at first because it was all the relief from four walls many were allowed. Why don’t we turn that expedient habit into an abiding habit – and let our feet or our wheels take us to a new vantage point with a better view of our lives.
Hollalluog a thragwyddol Dduw,
cynydda ynom dy rodd o ffydd
fel, gan adael yr hyn a aeth heibio
ac ymestyn at yr hyn sydd o’n blaen,
y bydd inni redeg ar hyd ffordd dy orchmynion
ac ennill coron llawenydd tragwyddol;
trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd,
sy’n fyw ac yn teyrnasu gyda thi,
yn undod yr Ysbryd Glân,
yn un Duw, yn awr ac am byth.
Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.